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January 15, 2015

What do US prisons look like from above?

Web developer illustrates breadth of prison system with cartography.
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Aerial images of the US prison system. (Screen shot from Prisonmap.com)

A New York web developer is using satellite imagery to highlight the size of the United States' prison population. The US has one of the highest rates of incarceration in the world, with more than 2.4 million people in prison.

Josh Begley, who is studying interactive telecommunications at New York University, created a website called Prison Map, which contains aerial images of 5,300 prison facilities. Begley coded a script that added the coordinates of prisons and jails throughout the US into Google Maps, helping him to capture images of county jails, state prisons, federal penitentiaries and immigration detention facilities. 

Take a look: 

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